Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

DAMOREYAH GOT BAPTIZED!!! I love this kid! He came to lesson win us this week and is super excited to start doing more missionary work with us! He's also going to be going on a mini mission next week! He is going to do amazing things and change so many people's lives! He'll be leaving pretty soon for Dixie State to play football and we are really going to miss him.. But I found out out that I get to stay in this area with Sister Bradley for another transfer! So I'll get to say goodbye to him when he leaves.

We also got to participate in an awesome service project at the old Mormon fort here in Vegas! We got to talk to the people walking around and tell them the story about when the Mormons came and settled in Vegas.

 Here's the story!

"After Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred in Carthage, Illinois, Brigham Young became President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  On July 24, 1847, Brigham Young, as a Prophet of God, told a small company of Mormon Pioneers in Salt Lake Valley, "This is the Place" where the Saints shall settle!  And settle they did, by the thousands!

But Salt Lake City wasn't the ONLY Place the Prophet wanted the Mormons to go!

8 years later, in April General Conference, President Young called out the names of 30 young, brave, strong Mormon Men. These men, he said, were called to a mission in "Los Vegas", Nevada to build a fort for travelers on the road between Utah and California, and to teach the
2,000 Paiute Indians who traveled through southern Nevada. These native Americans slept underneath piles of desert grass and searched for little seeds to eat.  They called their brush tents "wiki-ups".

President Young asked the 30 missionaries to become friends with the Paitues, show them how to farm, teach them to read, and teach them our religion. But they were NOT to fight them under any condition!

Two months later the missionaries arrived.  It was a very hot day, June 14, 1855.  The Missionaries came right here to this spot where we are standing!  They were the first people in recorded history to build a permanent home here. They went straight to work, digging into the desert sand to plant crops so they wouldn't starve.  And quickly they began making this fort out of the only thing available---a whole lot of hot gravel and dirt!  They built this whole fort out of adobe brick which is kind of the same thing as mud pies.

2 1/2 weeks later--guess what holiday occurred?  Independence Day!
And those Mormon missionaries were true-blue Americans. Even though they had been thrown out of their homes in Illinois when the Prophet Joseph was murdered.  Even though they had a TON of work to do to get their farm and fort all built up.  Even though Las Vegas wasn't even part of the USA then (it was part of Mexico), these men were SO PROUD to be Americans that they took the entire day off to celebrate our great Country's birthday!

In their missionary journals, they drew copies of an American Flag they sewed for the holiday.  It looked exactly like the replica you see flying on that flag pole today!  They made their flag out of white canvass, blue jeans, and an old red undershirt!  For a flag pole, they took the tongues from their wagon and lashed them together and stuck the flag on the top.  Their flag pole looked just like this one except it was even 10 foot taller!  Do you see the one big star in the middle?  That star was for the State of Deseret--for all the Mormon Pioneers.

Then the  missionaries sang hymns, said a special prayer of thanks for America, made patriotic speeches, toasts, and cheers.  Last of all, they had a 21 Gun salute!  A 21 Gun Salute is when 7 men with rifles each fire three bullets at the command of their leader. 7x3=21  The 7 men stood in line waiting for the command "Ready, Aim, Fire!"  BAM!
"Reload"  "Ready, Air Fire!"  BAM!  "Reload" "Ready, Aim, Fire!"  BAM!
 "At ease gentlemen!"

It sounded Awesome!  Only one problem!  The Paiutes had been hiding in the desert  watching these strange white men building this strange brick fort. Now they thought those strange men were firing their guns at them!  The Paiutes were very FRIGHTENED.  Some began making war cries.  Luckily, two of the missionaries knew a little of the Paiute language.  They quickly ran into the desert, shouting, "No Fighting!
We come in Peace!  We're just having a party!"

The Paiutes calmed down.  They did become friends of the missionaries.
Some even joined the Mormon church during the 2 years those Mormon Elders served here at this fort that they built with their own hands.
Today is a great day to honor those first Pioneers in Las Vegas.   On
their first holiday here, they made it a special day of Thanksgiving, Prayer, Patriotism, and Friendliness for all of God's children.  May it always be so here in our valley!"

This morning we got to hike sunrise mountain!! We got up early to watch the sunrise and it was still 90 degrees outside right before the sun came up. It took us a couple hours to hike but it was worth it!

Such an amazing blessing it is to be here in the Nevada Las Vegas Mission! I love it!
I hope you are all doing well I love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Hopper

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